A slick season ticket pack has now arrived. It reprised encounters of yore with teams we are facing this season in the championship. For Ipswich we went back to the 10-1 thrashing, except that Graham Leggat ‘s hat-trick was in four minutes, not three. As for the getting ‘nowhere near the 49,000’ that packed into the Cottage for Millwall, I can recall 45,000 for the visit of Manchester United. This would not have happened on Dennis Turner’s watch. The Chairman was ambitiously optimistic but we would not have minded a bit of humility, something like ‘learning from mistakes’.
We were all disappointed to see David Stockdale go. Apart from anything else, he was Hull’s keeper in their promotion season and must know the division well. With Steve Sidwell gone we have lost two of the big-hearted men. I had a chat with a long-serving fan who bemoaned the absence of big Dan Burn. His stint at Birmingham and his promising opening games made him look a more than useful asset for this campaign . One of the criticisms of Magath is that he chops and changes too much and does not know his best side. Players were in one week, like Lewis Holtby, and out the next. Fitness levels will be high and seven new additions have been made in a revolving door of pre- season. I noticed in the chairman’s address in the package that that old favourite ‘sustainable’ was there and you can be sure they will be seeking to offload as many of their high earners as they can. Even with a few departures our squad looks the strongest in the division, but teams with a strong esprit de corps like Burnley and Brighton, have shown that this vital ingredient is as important as playing resources.